Seismic Amplitude Interpretation

Fred Hilterman will be speaking on seismic amplitude interpretation and how geologists, geophysicists and engineers can integrate and/or interpret seismic data as part of their workflow to characterize a reservoir. This course will assist geoscientists who need to identify a reservoir’s lithology, pore-fluid and net-to-gross using seismic amplitude. The course will take place Wednesday February 12, 2014 in Houston, Texas, and is a part of the Winter Education Conference. For more details:

Upon course completion, participants should be able to select the appropriate techniques for pore-fluid and lithology prediction from seismic data. To accomplish this, the participants will:

–Qualitatively relate a rock’s velocity and density to porosity, lithology and hydrocarbon content,
–Relate a reservoir’s AVO class to seismic velocity,
–Identify seismic attributes that recognize hydrocarbon signatures in different rock-property (seismic velocity) environments,
–Compare the sensitivity of seismic attributes for variations in mineral content, porosity, and water saturation that are relative to the reservoir’s geologic setting,
–Select the appropriate seismic attributes to crossplot and then interpret regions on the seismic data that indicate most likely increases in porosity, hydrocarbon and net-to-gross,
–Prepare the necessary information and data needed to predict lithology and pore-fluid content from seismic data, and
–Evaluate the chances of a successful amplitude interpretation which leads to a successful reservoir characterization.

As a metric to the success of the learning objectives, a checklist for a reservoir-characterization study will be presented to the participants for evaluation and future application.


The goal of seismic amplitude interpretation and this course is the validation of reservoir composition. This characterization has matured from the 1970 Bright Spot analyses to amplitude-versus-offset (AVO) and inversion techniques. Along the way, many seismic amplitude attributes related to rock proprieties have been proposed.

The course introduces the empirical and theoretical rock-physics basis for reservoir characterization and catalogs rock properties to expected seismic signatures. Techniques for recognizing hydrocarbons and quantifying the reservoir’s properties in different rock-property settings, which are often referred to as Class 1-4 AVO, are introduced and subsequently illustrated with numerous field examples. Seismic amplitude attributes for distinguishing lithology and pore fluid along with their applicability and robustness in different environments are introduced.

Rock-property and AVO PC modeling programs are supplied to each participant to assist in the classroom and later work-related exercises involving seismic discrimination of lithology and pore-fluid. Case histories involving Class 1-4 AVO anomalies are presented along with numerous rock-property studies.

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